How Can They Tell if You Are Lying on Your Resume?

Nancy Anderson
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Lying on your resume is never a good thing because an employer will eventually discover the lie through a background check or by noting your apparent lack of skills. The trick for employers is to root out the lie before hiring someone. Discover how a hiring manager or recruiter realizes you're telling lies on your vital document so you don't make the mistake of relaying false information that leads to losing a job opportunity.

Career Progression

Your resume should reflect a logical career progression from one phase of your career to another. Your document shouldn't show how you started at an entry-level job right out of college and then jumped to an upper-level executive position within two years. Unless you founded your own company, that's an unlikely scenario that raises red flags with hiring managers.

Social Media

Social media posts and accounts, including LinkedIn, should match the content of your resume. All of the dates and previous employers on LinkedIn must line up with everything on a resume so the information is exactly the same. There's nothing wrong with supplementing a resume with a LinkedIn profile, but both places must display accurate information.

Job Titles and Achievement

Do not inflate your job titles or achievements because your former supervisors are the ones who vouch for your behavior. A potential employer will contact your previous managers to verify the information is accurate. If there's something that doesn't match your resume, you may not make it to the interview stage. Not only that, but your reputation could become tarnished if people in your network get word of you telling lies.

Fudged Dates

Fudged employment dates can come in several forms, one of which involves taking a severance. Severance pay may last a few months beyond your last date of employment, but that doesn't mean you worked there for three more months. Make sure you accurately list months and years of employment, because an employer can run a background check with previous employers you list on your resume.

Gaps in Employment

Job candidates fear that a large gap in employment spells doom for getting a better job. Rather than lie, be honest about why you didn't have a job for several months. Perhaps you took care of an ailing relative, needed time off to re-evaluate your career or went back to school to improve your skills. As long as you filled that gap with some kind of relevant activity, an employer sees it as a plus.

How to Avoid Lying

The simple way to avoid lying on a resume is to tell the truth. Your job history, education and experience are all verifiable through previous supervisors and your list of references. Play to your strengths and only list the most relevant or recent jobs on a resume. You don't have to dig deep into your high school years unless you're a recent college graduate.

Lying on your resume can set your career back for several months or longer, which is detrimental if you plan on moving up the corporate ladder. One little lie here or there is not worth it, because you have to tell even more lies to cover for the original lie you told in the first place.

Photo Courtesy of CareerSearchHub at


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